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Amid fears of third covid wave: Festival season nears, experts suggest muted celebrations

During the meeting, which was attended by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, among others, constant surveillance, testing and simple celebrations during the upcoming festival season were suggested.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
September 17, 2021 1:28:48 am
The third wave of Covid, most experts believe, could be in October/ November, 2021, which falls during the festival season. (Express Archive)

As the festival season approaches, experts have suggested muted and simple celebrations in the city, minutes of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) meeting held on August 27 show.

During the meeting, which was attended by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, among others, constant surveillance, testing and simple celebrations during the upcoming festival season were suggested.

During the meeting, Niti Aayog member Dr V K Paul indicated that large gatherings during festivals can reverse gains made so far.

“He mentioned that citizens must be prepared to celebrate the coming festivals in simple ways. The third wave of Covid, most of the experts believe could be in October/ November, 2021, which falls during the festival season. He emphasised that a narrative for celebrating festivals in a simple manner should be started, as festivals can easily reverse all our gains,” the minutes say, talking about the suggestions made by Dr Paul.

Dr Paul also it was important to promote contact tracing and ILI/SARI surveys during this phase as symptoms of flu and Covid are similar, the minutes said.

The DDMA meeting was held to discuss the preparation for a possible third Covid wave and school reopening protocol.

Over the past two months, daily Covid cases in the city have remained under 100, with the positivity rate also recorded under 0.1%.

On Thursday, 28 Covid cases were seen at a positivity rate of 0.04%. One death was recorded. The average growth rate of cases in Delhi is 0.003%, against the national rate of 0.104%, the minutes said. Delhi’s fatality rate of 1.74%, however, is higher than the national rate of 1.34%.

AIIMS director, Dr Randeep Guleria also stressed on continuous testing referring to influenza cases in the city.

Private and government hospitals have reported an increase in the number of cases of viral fever, including influenza and dengue, being reported in the city over the past few weeks. Doctors, however, said no serious outbreak has been observed so far and very few of their patients require admission.

ICMR DG, Balram Bhargava, meanwhile, suggested that if any gatherings are to be permitted, the attendance be limited to those who have been vaccinated.

At present, any social, political, religious or cultural gatherings have been banned. Business exhibitions, however, have been allowed. While places of worship are open, visitors are not allowed. Schools have been reopened, but only for those in classes IX and above.

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